About 50 area business leaders gathered in Santa Barbara on June 16 as California Forward, the Bay Area group promoting regional collaboration and reform of state government practices, held a seminar at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion.
The program was jointly hosted by the Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County and the Santa Barbara-based Community Environmental Council.
"I am engaged and concerned about our present and future," said EDC-VC Chairman Harold Edwards, the CEO of Limoneira Co.
California Forward has been holding meetings around the state to look at key problems with California governance, including redistricting and budget reform. It scored a major coup in 2008 when voters took redistricting away from party powerbrokers and put it in the hands of an independent commission.
Among the goals of California Forward is the restructuring of state government to help restore the Golden State to world-leader status in innovation and new technology.
The organizations gets its funding from foundations including the California Endowment, the James Irvine Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Its co-chairs are former assembly speaker Bob Hertzberg and Thomas McKernan, CEO of the Auto Club of Southern California.